Obviously, there are a few distinct differences between an electric bike and a regular bicycle. Those of us who own electric bikes (and indeed bicycles in general) know how important it is to make sure they're transported safely and securely. Just as there are some variations between an electric bike and a non-electric one, the car rack requirements needed to transport an e-bike are also a bit different. To help get you and your electric bike from A to B, we've put together a quick guide on how to choose the best electric bike rack for cars.
Why do you need a car rack for electric bikes?
Having a bike rack installed on your car is one of the easiest ways to travel when you're cycling. Whether it's to reach a new track or cycle path, or to take your bike with you on holiday, a properly-installed electric bike car rack can open up all kinds of new cycling routes for you.
Do e-bikes need a special bike rack?
Yes, e-bikes need a special bike rack. When it comes to transport, the main difference between electric bikes, in comparison to regular push bikes, is the weight. Electric bikes are significantly heavier due to the motor and battery, which is why it's highly recommended that you use a car rack that has been specifically designed. This is mainly for safety reasons when you're transporting your bike, but also for keeping your e-bikes in tip-top shape. You may also have more than one electric bike, meaning more weight - in this case, you'll want to invest in a bike rack with multiple electric bike slots.
We've introduced Peruzzo car bicycle racks to our range of electric bike accessories. Each model has additional features that make them easy to put together and take apart. The Pure Instinct range has been designed to hold a max weight of 40kg - 65kg, allowing the weight for 2 to 3 electric bikes, all dependent on the model. Bike rack models have also been designed with wider spaced wheel holders to accommodate electric bikes - meaning you won't need to remove the battery pack when transporting your bike. Some models also offer an optional ramp for ease of loading.
Peruzzo car racks have specific benefits for e-bikes, but they still have many other features that are advantageous for both traditional and electric bikes. They are extremely compact when folded so that they can be stored easily and fit well in a car boot. They offer a foot-operated tipping mechanism, to avoid strain on your back and help with easy movement of the bikes and car rack. We also think the Peruzzo range contains some of the best car racks for e-bikes because they have a built-in lock to safely secure your electric bike to the carrier and the carrier to the vehicle.
Motorhome bike racks for electric bikes
If you’re off on a big family cycling holiday, you might be looking for the best way to transport e-bikes in a motorhome. Rack specifications and capabilities will vary based on model and manufacturer, so it’s always really important to check the specifics of your bikes, rack and motorhome.
In general, motorhome bike racks are slightly different from car versions, because there’s generally a lot more jostling and movement with a van or RV than with a standard car.
Can you transport an e-bike on a roof rack?
It is possible to transport your electric bike on a roof rack for your car, however there are some important considerations to make.
You’ll need to remove your e-bike battery before you store it on top of your car. You’ll also need to then take care with where you store the battery - if you leave it in your car overnight,for example, it could get too hot or cold and be damaged.
Electric bikes are also significantly heavier than standard bikes - sometimes around twice the weight - so you’ll need to make sure both your roof rack and your car’s roof itself can hold that weight. Because of this, it can also be quite difficult to lift an electric bike onto the car’s roof.
So, if you ensure your bike meets the weight requirements for your roof rack and car, it’s technically possible to use a roof rack. However, the heaviness of e-bikes plus the potential for damage means they’re not usually recommended and can be much less convenient than another type - rear-mounted or towball, for example.
How to choose the best car racks for e-bikes
At Raleigh, we stock a range of Peruzzo and Saris bike racks. Each model we supply has its own benefits and it's important to understand the features on each so that you get the correct bike rack for you and your electric bike.
You'll need to think about how many bikes you'll be transporting regularly as a starting point. You can get good-quality bike racks to carry a single bike or several. If you regularly drive with your family for cycling trips, it's probably worth investing in electric bike carriers that can accommodate everyone.
When you're shopping for electric bike racks, you need to take your vehicle itself into consideration too. Some car racks for electric bikes are only compatible with certain models of cars. You can usually check with the manufacturer, and at Raleigh we've put a link to a bike rack fit guide on each listing to make it simple.
You also need to think about the type of bike rack that's best for you. Many "classic" or "standard" bike racks have a weight limit that won't be enough to comfortably and safely support an electric bike.
Hitch-mounted bike racks
Take your cycling adventures on the road with our range of hitch-mounted bike racks. Available in a variety of sizes, our collection of bike racks offers easy-to-fit and durable options for biking road trips. Whether you’re off on a cycling staycation or simply need to get from A to B, find the perfect solution in our range.
Browse our collection of hitch bike racks to find the perfect fit for your car and your bike. With multiple sizes, you’re sure to find the right one for you.
Towbar bike racks
For vehicles with towballs attached, a towbar-mounted bike rack can be a great option for transporting your bike. Our range contains models that are compatible with multiple sizes of bikes so you can find the perfect option for you.
Quick and easy to fit, our towbar bike racks are just as simple to remove. A safe and secure option for taking your bike with you on your next road trip. Towbar bike racks are available for electric bikes or road bikes, so get measuring and find the right fit for your car and your cycles.
Best car rack for one or two bikes: PURE INSTINCT 2 BIKE REAR CARRIER
The Pure Instinct 2 bike rear carrier is great for e-bikes - it has wider spaced wheel holders to accommodate the broad wheels, which is particularly important since centre of gravity can vary between models of electric bike. Supported wheels = happy electric bike!
This model is a particularly safe and secure folding rear mount car rack for 2 e-bikes, so it's one of the best car racks for couples.
Carries 2 bikes or 2 e-bikes (max 45 kg) it has wider spaced wheel holders to accommodate e-bikes
6 straps tested 300 kg load, for extra safety
Fully assembled ● Steel tubes have anti-rust treatment
Quick and easy to fit and remove
Can carry e-bikes with 12" to 29" frames
Folds flat for easy storage
Oversize wheel supports
Supplied with grab arms for 2 and 3 bikes
Doubly safe with an extra safety strap fixed to the frame
Best car rack for families: PURE INSTINCT TOWBALL BIKE CARRIER RANGE
The Pure Instinct Towball bike carriers are ideal for e-bikes since the maximum rack weight is 60kg. The Towball bike carrier is available for 2, 3 or 4 bikes, so is one of the best car racks for carrying a family's electric bikes.
Peruzzo's Pure Instinct towball carrier range is the ultimate tow bar carrier for electric bikes. With everything included in the box, and the ability to fold down for easy storage when not in use, it's an easy addition to your car whenever you need to be carrying bikes long distance. It is also compatible with 29, 29+, 27.5+ and fat bikes!
Quick and easy lockable fitting system
Tipping features allows for access to the boot whilst fully loaded
Supports Fat Bike and 29" size wheels and tyres
Supplied with grab arms
Scratch resistant powder coating
13 pin plug and rear light board
Folds down for easy storage whilst not in use
Other e-bike car racks recommended by our team...